Export prospects of Rajshahi's products to international markets bright
By Dr Aynal Haque
RAJSHAHI, Sept 2, 2021 (BSS)- Exporting prospects of Rajshahi's products to the international markets is very bright as it is famous for surplus production of various goods including jute, silk, handicrafts and mango every year.
Kazi Saidur Rahman, assistant director of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), said there are huge potentialities of exporting products to different global markets from Rajshahi round the year.
“Rajshahi's jute, silk, handicrafts and mango are very familiar in world markets. Among the nine products that have so far been registered as Geographical Indications (GI) in Bangladesh, four are from Rajshahi,” he said.
Rajshahi' silk in 2021 and Chapainawabganj's khirshapat mango, Rangpur's Sataranji mat and Diranjpur's Kataribhog rice in 2019 have been brought under the GI certification opening up an enormous door in the field of the region's export.
Export volume of Rajshahi’s products is increasing particularly in the countries belonging to the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).
Various products including jute, handicrafts, garments, handloom and light engineering machineries valued around 5.40 crore US dollars were exported during the last 2020-2021 fiscal year despite the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
EPB official Rahman said the export earnings in the previous 2019-2020 was around 3.85 crore US dollars.
He, however, said EPB, Rajshahi, constituted with the 16 districts in Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions, has been working for expanding the export sector through carrying out various promotional works related to providing need-based suggestions and certified facilitation to the new entrepreneurs.
Professor Iliash Hossain of the Department of Economics in Rajshahi University said the annual export earnings could have been more if the existing problems related to communication, transportation and capacity to exist in the international markets were solved.
He opined that export extent will be enhanced more if an effective integrated initiative is implemented coupled with accelerating the investment in Rajshahi.
Time-fitting steps should be taken to solve the problems on priority basis so that the region can enhance its contribution to the national export through enriching its export list, he added.
Prof Hossain said the prospect of agro-processing enterprises is bright in the Rajshahi region as it produces surplus fruits and vegetables that can expedite the export venture.
He focused on the agricultural potentials of the region with special emphasis on value-added agro-processing opportunities and agro-based industries.
It could add to the industrialization efforts of agro-based and agro-processing industry in the region for a sustainable and well-formed linkage of production, processing and marketing in global markets.
Muhammad Muniruzzaman, president of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (RCCI), termed the transportation as one of the major problems in the field of export from Rajshahi.
He said there are huge potentialities of exporting Rajshahi's products to the Middle East countries but the businessmen aren't interested to do the same due to transportation problems.
The chamber leader urged the government to upgrade the Rajshahi Airport, making it an outlet for directly exporting the products to different Middle Eastern and European countries through cargo services.
He underscored the need for setting up agro-processing industries to ensure maximum utilization of agricultural products.
Establishment of agro-processing industries would encourage the farmers to grow more high valued products for their higher income.
He termed industrialization as the most relevant indicator of the region’s progress and prosperity.